Suzanne Collins (born August 10, 1962) is an American television writer and novelist, best known for writing The Hunger Games series (which is comprised of The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, and Mockingjay).
- The Hunger Games is a reality television program. An extreme one, but that's what it is. And while I think some of those shows can succeed on different levels, there's also the voyeuristic thrill, watching people being humiliated or brought to tears or suffering physically. And that's what I find very disturbing. There's this potential for desensitizing the audience so that when they see real tragedy playing out on the news, it doesn't have the impact it should. It all just blurs into one program.And I think it's very important not just for young people, but for adults to make sure they're making the distinction. Because the young soldier's dying in the war in Iraq, it's not going to end at the commercial break. It's not something fabricated, it's not a game. It's your life.
The Hunger Games (2008)
- Winning means fame and fortune. Losing means certain death. The Hunger Games have begun.
- Tagline on the back cover
- She must have had bad dreams and climbed in with our mother. Of course, she did. This is the day of the reaping.
- p. 3
- So I learned to hold my tongue and to turn my features into an indifferent mask so that no one could ever read my thoughts.
- Katniss Everdeen, p. 5
- "And may the odds—" He tosses a berry in a high arc toward me.
I catch it in my mouth and break the delicate skin with my teeth. The sweet tartness explodes across my tongue. "—be ever in your favor!"
- Gale Hawthorne and Katniss Everdeen, p. 8
- Then something unexpected happens. At least, I don't expect it because I don’t think of District 12 as a place that cares about me. But a shift has occurred since I stepped up to take Prim's place, and now it seems I have become someone precious. At first one, then another, then almost every member of the crowd touches the three middle fingers of their left hand to their lips and holds it out to me. It is an old and rarely used gesture of our district, occasionally seen at funerals. It means thanks, it means admiration, it means good-bye to someone you love.
- p. 24
- "I want the audience to recognize you when you're in the arena," says Cinna dreamily. "Katniss, the girl who was on fire."
It crosses my mind that Cinna's calm and normal demeanor masks a complete madman.
- Cinna to Katniss Everdeen, p. 67
- You don't forget the face of the person who was your last hope.
- Katniss Everdeen, p. 85
- "So, here's what you do. You win, you go home. She can‘t turn you down then, eh?" says Caesar encouragingly.
"I don't think it‘s going to work out. Winning...won‘t help in my case," says Peeta.
"Why ever not?" says Caesar, mystified. Peeta blushes beet red and stammers out. "Because...because...she came here with me."
- Caesar Flickerman and Peeta Mellark, p. 138
- "Only I keep wishing I could think of a way to...to show the Capitol they don't own me. That I'm more than just a piece in their Games," says Peeta.
- Peeta Mellark to Katniss Everdeen, p. 142
- "Ladies and gentlemen, let the Seventy-fourth Hunger Games begin!"
- Claudius Templesmith, p. 147
- I enter a nightmare from which I wake repeatedly only to find a greater terror awaiting me. All the things I dread most, all the things I dread for others manifest in such vivid detail I can’t help but believe they're real. Each time I wake, I think, At last, this is over, but it isn't. It's only the beginning of a new chapter of torture. How many ways do I watch Prim die? Relive my father's last moments? Feel my own body ripped apart? This is the nature of the tracker jacker venom, so carefully created to target the place where fear lives in your brain.
- p. 194
- "Come on," says Cato. He thrusts a spear into the hands of the boy from District 3, and they head off in the direction of the fire. The last thing I hear as they enter the woods is Cato saying, "When we find her, I kill her in my own way, and no one interferes."
Somehow I don't think he's talking about Rue. She didn't drop a nest of tracker jackers on him.
- Cato, p. 217
- Deep in the meadow, hidden far away
A cloak of leaves, a moonbeam ray
Forget your woes and let your troubles lay
And when again it's morning, they'll wash away.
Here it's safe, here it's warm
Here the daisies guard you from every harm
The final lines are barely audible.
Here your dreams are sweet and tomorrow brings them true
Here is the place where I love you.
- Katniss Everdeen, Rue's song, p. 235
- "Remember, we're madly in love, so it‘s all right to kiss me anytime you feel like it."
- Peeta Mellark, p. 253
- And while I was talking, the idea of actually losing Peeta hit me again and I realized how much I don't want him to die. And it's not about the sponsors. And it's not about what will happen back home. And it's not just that I don't want to be alone. It's him. I do not want to lose the boy with the bread.
- Katniss Everdeen, p. 297
- "Then for the next eleven years, I tried to work up the nerve to talk to you.".
"Without success," I add.
- Peeta Mellark and Katniss Everdeen, p. 301
- "You're not leaving me here alone," I say. Because if he dies, I'll never go home, not really. I'll spend the rest of my life in this arena trying to think my way out.
- Katniss Everdeen, p. 343
- It's like being home again, when they bring in the hopelessly mangled person from the mine explosion, or the woman in her third day of labor, or the famished child struggling against pneumonia and my mother and Prim, they wear that same look on their faces. Now is the times to run away tho the woods, to hide in the trees until the patient is long gone and in another part of the Seam the hammers make the coffin. But I'm held here both by the hovercraft walls and the same force that holds the loved ones of the dying. How often I've seen them, ringed around our kitchen table and I thought, Why don't they leave? Why do they stay to watch?
And now I know. It's because you have no choice.
- Katniss Everdeen, pp. 347-348
- "One more time? For the audience?" he says. His voice wasn't angry. It's hollow, which is worse. Already the boy with the bread is slipping away from me.
I take his hand, holding on tightly, preparing for the cameras, and dreading the moment when I finally have to let go.
- Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark, pp. 373-374 (closing words)
Catching Fire (2009)
- You've got to go through it to get to the end of it.
- Greasy Sae, p. 12
- A shiver goes through me when I think of the proximity of my mother and sister to this man who despises me. Will always despise me. Because I outsmarted his sadistic Hunger Games, made the Capitol look foolish, and consequently undermined his control.
All I was doing was trying to keep myself and Peeta alive. Any act of rebellion was purely coincidental. But when the Capitol decrees that only one tribute can live and you have the audacity to challenge it, I guess that’s a rebellion in itself.
- Katniss Everdeen, p. 18
- "I think we'll make this whole situation a lot simpler by agreeing not to lie to each other," he says. "What do you think?"
I think my tongue has frozen and speech will be impossible, so I surprise myself by answering back in a steady voice, "Yes, I think that would save time."
- President Snow and Katniss Everdeen, p. 19
- "Whatever problems anyone may have with the Capitol, believe me when I say that if it released its grip on the districts for even a short time, the entire system would collapse." [...]
"It must be very fragile, if a handful of berries can bring it down."
- President Snow and Katniss, p. 21
- "Katniss Everdeen, the girl who was on fire, you have provided a spark that, left unattended, may grow to an inferno that destroys Panem."
- President Snow, p. 23
- Because sometimes things happen to people and they're not equipped to deal with them.
Like me, for instance. Right now.
- Katniss, pp. 31-32
- No wonder I won the games. No decent person ever does.
- Katniss, p. 117
- Life in District 12 isn’t really so different from life in the arena. At some point, you have to stop running and turn around and face whoever wants you dead. The hard thing is finding the courage to do it.
- Katniss, p. 118
- Let them go, I tell myself. Say good-bye and forget them. I do my best, thinking of them one by one, releasing them like birds from the protective cages inside me, locking the doors against their return.
- Katniss, p. 189
- “When you’re on the chariot this time, no waving, no smiling. I just want you to look straight ahead, as if the entire audience is beneath your notice.”
“Finally something I’ll be good at,” I say.
- Cinna and Katniss, p. 207
- Suddenly I remember how she volunteered to replace the young, hysterical woman in her district. It couldn't be because she thought she had any chance of winning. She did it to save the girl, just like I volunteered last year to save Prim. And I decide I want her on my team.
- Katniss Everdeen on Mags, p. 232
- "I guess this is a bad time to mention I hung a dummy and painted Seneca Crane's name on it," I say.
- Katniss, p. 241
- "I wish I could freeze this moment, right here, right now, and live in it forever."
- Peeta Mellark to Katniss, p. 245
- I squint down at my feet and see that my metal plate is surrounded by blue waves that lap up over my boots. Slowly I raise my eyes and take in the water spreading out in every direction.
I can only form one clear thought.
This is no place for a girl on fire.
- Katniss, p. 263
- "What's going on down there, Katniss? Have they all joined hands? Taken a vow of nonviolence? Tossed the weapons in the sea in defiance of the Capitol?" Finnick asks.
"No," I say.
"No," Finnick repeats. "Because whatever happened in the past is in the past. And no one in this arena was a victor by chance." He eyes Peeta for a moment. "Except maybe Peeta."
- Finnick Odair and Katniss, pp. 276-277
- "Poor Finnick. Is this the first time in your life you haven't looked pretty?" I say.
"It must be. The sensation's completely new. How have you managed it all these years?"
- Katniss and Finnick, p. 316
- "Oh," I say under my breath. "Tick, tock." My eyes sweep around the full circle of the arena and I know she's right. "Tick, tock. This is a clock."
- Katniss, p. 325
- It's better than hunting them down in the jungle, anyway. And I doubt they'll figure out our plan, since we can barely understand it ourselves.
- Johanna Mason, p. 361
- He looks at my hand. “So it’s you and a syringe against the Capitol? See, this is why no one lets you make the plans.”
- Haymitch to Katniss, p. 384
- They can pump whatever they want into my arm, but it takes more than that to keep a person going once she's lost the will to live.
- Katniss, p. 389
- "Katniss," Gale says softly. I recognize that voice. It's the same one he uses to approach wounded animals before he delivers a deathblow. I instinctively raise my hand to block his words but he catches it and holds on tightly. "Don't," I whisper. But Gale is not one to keep secrets from me. "Katniss, there is no District Twelve."
- Gale to Katniss, p. 391 (closing words)
"Mockingjay" redirects here. It is not to be confused with Mockingbird
- “Katniss, she’s running this district. She can’t do it if it seems like she’s caving in to your will.”
“You mean she can’t stand any dissent, even if it’s fair.”
- Gale Hawthorne and Katniss Everdeen (pp. 63-64)
- "I want to tell the rebels that I am alive. That I'm right here in District Eight, where the Capitol has just bombed a hospital full of unarmed men, women, and children. There will be no survivors. [...] I want to tell people that if you think for one second the Capitol will treat us fairly if there's a cease-fire, you're deluding yourself. Because you know who they are and what they do. [...] This is what they do! And we must fight back! [...] President Snow says he's sending us a message? Well, I have one for him. You can torture us and bomb us and burn our districts to the ground, but do you see that?" We're with the camera, tracking to the planes burning on the roof of the warehouse. Tight on the Capitol seal on a wing, which melts back into the image of my face, shouting at the president. "Fire is catching! And if we burn, you burn with us!"
- Katniss (pp. 105-106)
- "This is your earpiece. I will give you exactly one more chance to wear it. If you remove it from your ear again, I'll have you fitted with this." He holds up some sort of metal headgear that I instantly name the head shackle. "It's an alternative audio unit that locks around your skull and under your chin until it's opened with a key. And I'll have the only key. If for some reason you're clever enough to disable it,"—Haymitch dumps the head shackle on the bed and whips out a tiny silver chip—"I'll authorize them to surgically implant this transmitter into your ear so that I may speak to you twenty-four hours a day."
Haymitch in my head full-time. Horrifying. "I'll keep the earpiece in," I mutter.
- Haymitch Abernathy and Katniss (pp. 110-111)
- Maybe everyone is just trying to protect me by lying to me. I don’t care. I’m sick of people lying to me for my own good. Because really it’s mostly for their own good. Lie to Katniss about the rebellion so she doesn’t do anything crazy.
- Katniss (p. 118)
- To hear Delly describe it, I had next to no friends because I intimidated people by being so exceptional. Not true. I had next to no friends because I wasn't friendly.
- Katniss (p. 188)
- Sometimes when I'm alone, I take the pearl from where it lives in my pocket and try to remember the boy with the bread, the strong arms that warded off nightmares on the train, the kisses in the arena. To make myself put a name to the thing I've lost. But what's the use? It's gone. He's gone. Whatever existed between us is gone. All that's left is my promise to kill Snow. I tell myself this ten times a day.
- Katniss (p. 195)
- "I don't stand a chance if he doesn't get better. You'll never be able to let him go. You'll always feel wrong about being with me."
"The way I always felt wrong kissing him because of you," I say.
- Gale and Katniss (p. 197)
- Even in the Capitol, there’s nothing to match the magnificence of this old building. But there is no give to the surface—only my flesh yields, my warmth taken. Stone conquers people every time.
- Katniss (p. 209)
- "We didn't bomb the train tunnel, you know. Some of them will probably get out."
"And then we'll shoot them when they show their faces?" I ask.
"Only if we have to," he answers.
- Boggs and Katniss (pp. 209-210)
- "You could save a lot of lives, Katniss."
- Haymitch (p. 213)
- "I'm not their slave," the man mutters.
"I am," I say. "That’s why I killed Cato ... and he killed Thresh ... and he killed Clove ... and she tried to kill me. It just goes around and around, and who wins? Not us. Not the districts. Always the Capitol. But I'm tired of being a piece in their Games."
- A District 2 soldier and Katniss (p. 215)
- "Was there fighting after I was shot?"
"Not much. The workers from the Nut turned on the Capitol soldiers. The rebels just sat by and watched," he says. "Actually, the whole country just sat by and watched."
"Well, that’s what they do best," I say.
- Katniss and Gale (p. 222)
- All those months of taking it for granted that Peeta thought I was wonderful are over. Finally, he can see me for who I really am. Violent. Distrustful. Manipulative. Deadly.
And I hate him for it.
- Katniss (p. 232)
- “So, now that we’re dead, what’s our next move?”
- Gale (p. 289)
- "You're still trying to protect me. Real or not real," he whispers.
"Real," I answer. It seems to require more explanation. "Because that's what you and I do. Protect each other."
- Peeta and Katniss (p. 302)
- "I think...you still have no idea. The effect you can have."
- Peeta to Katniss (p. 325)
- Closing my eyes doesn’t help. Fire burns brighter in the darkness.
- Katniss (p. 352)
- I refuse for this to be true. Some things even I can't survive. I utter my first words since my sister's death. "I don't believe you."
Snow shakes his head in mock disappointment. "Oh, my dear Miss Everdeen. I thought we had agreed not to lie to each other."
- Katniss and President Snow (p. 358)
- I no longer feel any allegiance to these monsters called human beings, despite being one myself. I think that Peeta was onto something about us destroying one another and letting some decent species take over. Because something is significantly wrong with a creature that sacrifices its children’s lives to settle its differences.
- Katniss (p. 377)
- “Are you preparing for another war, Plutarch?” I ask.
“Oh, not now. Now we’re in that sweet period where everyone agrees that our recent horrors should never be repeated,” he says. “But collective thinking is usually short-lived. We’re fickle, stupid beings with a great gift for self-destruction. Although who knows? Maybe this will be it, Katniss.”
“What?” I ask.
“The time it sticks. Maybe we are witnessing the evolution of the human race. Think about that.”
- Katniss and Plutarch Heavensbee (p. 379)
- "It was the waste of a trip. She's not here," I tell him. Buttercup hisses again. "She's not here. You can hiss all you like. You won't find Prim." At her name, he perks up. Raises his flattened ears. Begins to meow hopefully. "Get out!" He dodges the pillow I throw at him. "Go away! There's nothing left for you here!" I start to shake, furious with him. "She's not coming back! She's never ever coming back here again!" I grab another pillow and get to my feet to improve my aim. Out of nowhere, the tears begin to pour down my cheeks. "She's dead." I clutch my middle to dull the pain. Sink down on my heels, rocking the pillow, crying. "She's dead, you stupid cat. She's dead."
- Katniss and Buttercup (p. 386)
- Buttercup begins to wail as well. He circles me, just out of reach, as wave after wave of sobs racks my body, until eventually I fall unconscious. But he must understand. He must know that the unthinkable has happened and to survive will require previously unthinkable acts. Because hours later, when I come to in my bed, he's there in the moonlight. Crouched beside me, yellow eyes alert, guarding me from the night.
- Katniss (p. 386)
- I know this would have happened anyway. That what I need to survive is not Gale's fire, kindled with rage and hatred. I have plenty of fire myself. What I need is the dandelion in the spring. The bright yellow that means rebirth instead of destruction. The promise that life can go on, no matter how bad our losses. That it can be good again. And only Peeta can give me that.
So after, when he whispers, "You love me. Real or not real?"
I tell him, "Real."
- Katniss and Peeta (p. 388; closing words of the main text)
- The questions are just beginning. The arenas have been completely destroyed, the memorials built, there are no more Hunger Games. But they teach about them at school, and the girl knows we played a role in them. The boy will know in a few years.
- Katniss (p. 389)
- I'll tell them how I survive it. I'll tell them that on bad mornings, it feels impossible to take pleasure in anything because I'm afraid it could be taken away. That's when I make a list in my head of every act of goodness I've seen someone do. It's like a game. Repetitive. Even a little tedious after more than twenty years.
But there are much worse games to play.
- Katniss (p. 390; closing words of the epilogue)